The National Pest Management Association’s “Bug Barometer” is indicating a buggy spring and summer for most areas of the country. According to NPMA, exceptionally milder winter temperatures, along with periods of heavy precipitation or moisture in most areas soon will be forcing bugs indoors.
Expect an early onslaught of ants in California and the Midwest, cockroaches and other crawlers in the Southwest, termites in the Southeast, earwigs in the Northeast, and exuberant mosquitoes all around.
What Landlords Can Do
Educate tenants on ways to reduce the risk of pests in their units:
Avoid leaving food out on countertops;
Pet food left in bowls or opened bags is attractive to pests;
Don’t leave clothes on the floor;
Remove dust and dirt from the floors regularly;
Empty the trash frequently;
Watch for bedbugs that have hitched a ride from hotels or other travel destinations; and,
Be wary of secondhand furnishings that might be housing bedbugs or mice.
Landlords should inspect the property, looking for openings along windows or near the foundation where pests can crawl in, and plug any cracks with caulking.
Landscaping attracts a number of pests, so cut back or remove shrubs or trees that are pushed against the foundation or within hopping distance from a window.
Look for areas around the property where water may be pooling. Mosquito-born diseases are a significant worry.
Be mindful of trash spilling out of bins.
Repair broken screens so tenants don’t invite pests indoors.
Encourage tenants to report a possible infestation, and act on it as soon as possible, before the pests have spread. Prohibit tenants from self-help pest control.
Do-it-yourself pest control is dangerous. Hire a local pest control expert or visit PestWorld.org to learn how you can keep your rental properties pest-free throughout the year.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.